THEAUSSIEWORD.COM special interview with Blake Dantier.
How and where did it all begin for you? What drew your interest to the music industry?
I suppose it all started on my 12th birthday when my parents got me a drum kit. It was cheap but it got the job done in those sweaty bedroom jams with my older brother.
Eventually I learned to play guitar and keys because well, playing drums and singing kind of sucks when you’re just singing over a drum track.
I didn’t know there was a music industry to be a part of… I just kept playing music because it was fun and I didn’t really want to do anything else. Eventually people started paying me for it and I realised how far I could take this…
What motivates or influences you in your quest to make great music?
For one, Everybody that’s come before me in Country music. Like everybody. Country music is a tradition and I want to honour that by making authentic Country music like my heroes did.
Another reason I’m motivated to keep making music is the hope that it might help somebody somewhere along the line. You know, dealing with a breakup, moving to a new place, shedding their skin – music is always there and I know it’s helped me in difficult times.
What are your biggest goals you hope to accomplish as an artist?
Gimme that cult following. I just want that small group of die hard fans.
What can we expect from you in the coming months? Any plans to tour?
We’re finally hitting the road! Shows in QLD and VIC, supporting Jayne Denham. Meatstock Toowoomba and TCMF in April. I don’t have too many plans after that but I’ll be out there playing this album!!!
Tell us a bit about your latest release and how would you best describe your music?
This album, Dry Season, is 70s Outlaw meets 90s Country. At least that’s what we tried to do… we tracked it over about a year with a killer bunch of Aussie players and Simon Johnson producing.
Give us an insight into your creative process. What gets you writing songs?
Sometimes I gotta sit and force myself to write otherwise I won’t do anything…. Other times I catch a melody in the shower and frantically dry myself off to get a guitar. I always found a little Mary Jane helps kick start the process too.
Is there a hidden meaning in any of your music?
I like to think I’m pretty straight up. I try to stay away from cryptic songs.
Success, what is the secret to it?
Just be happy man. If you’re happy doing what you do, you’re a success.
What has been your biggest career highlight so far?
Recording this album AND recording my fiancée, Cass Hopetoun’s, album. We put out so much love into them and they bring back so many fond memories when we we listen to them.
Which stars of the music industry do you find inspiring?
Alan Jackson, Brooks and Dunn, Midland… to name a few. There’s so many. Too many.
Are there any new projects in the pipeline?
Album 2 is halfway written… but man I’d like a break! So who knows when we’ll hear that…
The music industry is huge, where do you see yourself a few years from now?
What is your favourite and least favourite part about this line of work and why?
I’m hoping to go over to Nashville – the Country Music capital. There’s a great scene there and more of a place for my type of Country. I’d also love to be writing songs for other people.
My favourite part about this whole thing is when you create a song and you know it could be something special. The worst part is the rejection and being unfulfilled, which is sadly a frequent thing when you’re starting out.
Name a few of your favourite Australian artists.
I love ACDC. Without them I wouldn’t have even started playing music.
The shape of the music industry has changed significantly over the years, including the use of social media, how do you feel about the industry as a whole and what does it mean to you in getting your records out into the public eye?
I’m not a fan of social media – it offers some huge advantages for affordable and easy promotion but it’s pretty toxic. Necessary evil though.
I also wish people would just listen to stuff and decide for themselves that they like it, without having to be told it’s cool by someone else first.
How do you plan on cracking the international market?
I’ll just keep writing better songs… and getting my face around the place. Not much of plan… but I’ll flesh it out some more later…
Do you collaborate with others? Who is on your wish-list?
Look collaboration is great. You can get some amazing things out of it. And I’d love to share a stage with some like minded guitar players… Brad Paisley, Brent Mason, Vince Gill perhaps?
What advice do you give for someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?
Just keep going man. You’ll wanna give up, but don’t.
A message for your fans. How do you best interact and respond with your fans?
Hit me up on Insta aye.
Any last words?
Really, hit me up on Insta.